Environmental issues

Pests and weeds

Bitou Bush and Boneseed Threat Abatement Plan

Invasion of native plant communities by Chrysanthemoides monilifera (bitou bush and boneseed) was listed as a key threatening process under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 in April 1999. The Bitou Bush and Boneseed Threat Abatement Plan (Bitou TAP) (06115TAPtext.pdf, 886 KB) was prepared under the Act and released by the NSW Environment Minister in 2006.

Review of the Bitou TAP

The 5-year review of the Bitou TAP has been completed and should be consulted when implementing the TAP. The review concluded that the Bitou TAP did not need to be revised. For further information, see the Bitou TAP Review (130350BitouTAPR.pdf, 2.1 MB).

A revised national Bitou bush and boneseed strategic plan 2012–2017 has been prepared and sets the future direction of bitou bush and boneseed management to reduce the impact on Australia’s native biodiversity.

Implementing the TAP

The following pages are designed to help implement the Bitou TAP on publicly- and privately-owned land in NSW.

Under the Bitou TAP, bitou bush control in NSW is directed to priority sites where management is most likely to protect native plant communities at most risk from bitou bush. This is achieved through:

Collaborative bitou bush control programs across the landscape

The Bitou TAP identifies priorities for collaborative bitou bush control across public and private land in NSW. Numerous stakeholders assist in controlling bitou bush at priority sites and reducing its extent, including the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Local Land Services, the NSW Department of Primary Industries, local government, community groups, Aboriginal groups and bush regenerators.

Control is aimed at protecting the 157 plant species, 3 plant populations and 24 ecological communities identified as threatened by bitou bush invasion. To protect this biodiversity, control is focused on:

  • 169 priority sites, where management of bitou bush is critical for the survival of the species, populations and ecological communities most at risk
  • northern and southern containment zones, which have been established to help halt the spread of bitou bush and reduce future impacts to native species.

The Bitou TAP also identifies 24 native animal species that are potentially threatened by bitou bush.

Improved bitou bush management

The Bitou TAP explains how to plan control using a standard site-specific management plan, following a staged approach.

To ensure that bitou bush control is effective and results in the conservation of priority species, the Bitou TAP outlines the need for best-practice management. Best-practice guidelines aim to maximise the effectiveness of bitou bush control programs, while minimising impacts on non-target native species.

Monitoring of control programs

The Monitoring Manual for Bitou Bush Control and Native Plant Recovery has been developed as part of the implementation of the Bitou TAP. The manual outlines a multi-tiered approach to monitoring, where different techniques can be used, depending on the species present at the site and the resources and skills of the land manager. Monitoring programs are vital in determining the effectiveness of bitou bush management and the recovery of the native species most at risk.

Community education and engagement

The Bitou TAP sets out a series of measures to:

  • inform the community about the impact of bitou bush on native species
  • involve the community in the implementing the TAP
  • raise awareness of bitou bush control and threatened species management in NSW, including through use of an identification guide to the plants at risk from bitou bush invasion; a range of educational materials; a list of participating partners; and identification of community funding opportunities.

Contact your local coastal NPWS office or local council if you want to be involved in working on a Bitou TAP site.

Identification of knowledge gaps

Development of the TAP revealed gaps in our understanding of the impacts of bitou bush on biodiversity. The Bitou TAP Review provided information on how research has met some of these knowledge gaps. However, research is still needed to fill some of these knowledge gaps. See Section 3.7 of the Bitou TAP Review (130350BitouTAPR.pdf, 2.1 MB).

Page last updated: 06 August 2014